Blogs respond to ‘Hit & Run’

Blogs have been abuzz on the Hager and Stephenson book “Hit & Run”.

At Kiwiblog David Farrar plays it down saying *if* and comparing 6 civilian deaths to total civilian deaths in Afghanistan (26,000) – TLDR: Hager book summary

So far at The Standard it has been left to comments with no posts other than Nicky Hager’s book launch but that does include some politically aimed tweets including:

And:

The Daily Blog had live stream coverage of the book launch but that was apparently quite unreliable. Martyn Bradbury has since had a major rant in a post targeting John Key – you have to tell NZ if you committed a war crime:

If we as a country are going to cheer when our troops go to war to fight ‘da terrorists’ then we have to demand accountability when they kill civilians! We deserve to know the truth before John Key steps down – did he or did he not order a poorly planned strike that killed 6 civilians?

Jesus wept this disgusts and angers me so deeply – if you send troops to a foreign land you are fucking responsible for what they do!

Brothers & sisters, we fund the NZ SAS – when they pull a trigger, we help pay for that trigger – Key has made us all killers here.

The Prime Minister has blood on his hands and we must demand some answers before he steps down.

In Bombers eyes know inquiry is needed, he has already tried and convicted the whole country. He seems to have missed the fact that Key stepped down from being Prime Minister last year. Key is due to give his valedictory speech in Parliament today and then leave. I’m not sure if he will have time to consider Bradbury’s demands.

Tim Watkin at Pundit – The O’Donnell raid in Afghanistan: The seeds of the new Hager book

The 2010 raid in Afghanistan detailed in Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson’s new book, Hit and Run, was first revealed on a TV interview I produced in 2011. It’s time for some official answers

Andrew Geddis at Pundit: Killing in the name of?

Nicky Hager and John Stephenson’s book, Hit & Run, presents compelling evidence that our SAS was responsible for killing at least six Afghani civilians, wounding at least another fifteen, and handing over a man to be tortured for information. And then we were systematically lied to about what was being done in our name.

He concludes:

I say that again now. If our SAS must dissemble and lie by omission or commission to those for whom they fight, then it should not be fighting. If military leaders and their political masters are complicit in those lies, then we should follow the German example and require their resignations.

For at a time when our defence forces are asking us to give them some $20 billion from the public purse to upgrade their equipment, it is incumbent on them to prove to us that they deserve it. And the first step they must take in doing so is showing that we can trust them to tell us just what it is that they do in our name.

I thought that a law professor might have listened to the other side of the arguments before coming to strong conclusions.

To date Whale Oil has no posts on the book. Perhaps they are disappointed it isn’t about them again. Apparently Slater has been otherwise occupied and no one else has stepped up. There have been some comments on it in Whaleoil Backchat.

Leave a comment

30 Comments

  1. I don’t really have an opinion on the claims made. I have heard similar accusations before and they came to nothing, but presumably there is more evidence in the book.

    I have some opinions about the political aspects and the timing of the launch but Hager has proven adept at maximising attention around his launches.

    But I don’t know enough about the raid in Afghanistan or details around it to have an opinion on possible culpability.

    War is crap but sometimes unavoidable. Shit happens – civilians usually bear the brunt of the stupidity and destruction. What is happening in Syria currently is appalling.

    Perhaps an official inquiry is justified, but I don’t know if it is or if one would serve a useful purpose.

    I’ll leave it to others with more expertise and knowledge (and many with neither but will have their say anyway).

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  22nd March 2017

      There are no experts on this. Just a a lot of wind blowers. Your opinion is as good as theirs.
      I read some person yesterday who claims much but doesn’t know the difference between the Articles of War and the Rules Of Engagement.

      Reply
  2. NOEL

     /  22nd March 2017

    PM orders coalition HQ to conduct a strike..
    What are these people smoking?

    Reply
  3. Griff

     /  22nd March 2017

    Personally I am not interested in giving Hager or his book thought.
    War is a lose lose game.
    That our SAS may have killed 6 civilians pales into insignificance when we consider that around 1,300,000 have died as a result of the war on terror..
    Far more appropriate to attack those responsible for such stupidity than the poor grunts on the battle field doing their job as best as they can manage in such chaotic situations.

    Reply
  4. Chris

     /  22nd March 2017

    I seem to recall that Jon Stephenson has been pushing the SAS barrow for a number of years now, and has ended up at the bottom of the barrel having Hager write the book for him. If this is so good why did he not write the book himself, or have a more reputable journalist work with him, someone like, dare I say it, Ian Wishart.
    I don’t think anyone of right mind believes anything written by Hager is the truth.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  22nd March 2017

      all his books have withstood scrutiny,to the chagrin of his detractors.They always revert to their default defence…Hager is a …’conspiracy theorist’.

      Reply
  5. Kevin

     /  22nd March 2017

    The comments over on kiwlblog overwhelming take the narrative that Hager’s a traitor. Can’t say I disagree with them. This is significant as kiwiblog has a fair share of lefty commentators. Major own-goal by Hager. Comments are as one would expect over at TS.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  22nd March 2017

      Would be good to see the full joint Afhgan-ISAF report.

      Reply
      • Kevin

         /  22nd March 2017

        It would.

        Reply
      • NOEL

         /  22nd March 2017

        Better still the video of the initial contact. Wasn’t available to Joe Public because of the operation situation at the time. Don’t see any reason not to release now except maybe pixelate some of the faces.

        Reply
  6. Gezza

     /  22nd March 2017

    Bomber:
    “Brothers & sisters, we fund the NZ SAS – when they pull a trigger, we help pay for that trigger – Key has made us all killers here.”

    Honestly, I just love Bomber. 😀 If the word ridiculous didn’t exist, they’d have to invent it to cover this sort of comment from him.

    Reply
    • Nelly Smickers

       /  22nd March 2017

      True……*but honestly* – just ask yourself LOL ❗

      Reply
    • Kevin

       /  22nd March 2017

      He has surely raised speaking in rhetoric to an art form. Its just that he thinks he’s talking literally.

      Reply
  7. Gezza

     /  22nd March 2017


    Martyn Bradbury
    ‪@CitizenBomber‬
    TheDailyBlog.nz 5th estate has obligation & responsibility to overthrow 4th estate for dereliction of duty. Retweeting me is an act of treason in Wellington
    New Zealand·thedailyblog.co.nz
    2,121 FOLLOWING 5,833 FOLLOWERS
    …….
    Stockpile of hyperbolic acid is probably so old several containers are leaking. Still, I better not retweet him, just to be on the safe side. 😳

    Reply
  8. lurcher1948

     /  22nd March 2017

    WWI: 4.5 million
    WWII: 30 million
    Korea: 400,000
    Vietnam: 627,000
    Gulf War: 5,000
    Iraq: 66,000
    Afghanistan: 26,000
    statistics above Mr Farrar
    6 innocents killed…a murderous war crime and a moment of UTU Mr Farrar

    Reply
  9. lurcher1948

     /  22nd March 2017

    I remember when as a printing machinist printing”the hollow man” the secrecy all waste into special rubbish bins,wondering whether a court order stopping the print run,and the look on Brashes face when published,those were the days…sigh

    Reply
  10. artcroft

     /  22nd March 2017

    Shame this book wasn’t released closer to the election as all it will do is emphasis the divide between the beliefs of the activist left and the wider community. The left could then feel good about their virtue signalling while National could retain power and we’d all be happy.

    Reply
  11. Jeeves

     /  22nd March 2017

    So if Nicky Hagar came out with compelling evidence that one dark night in 2011, 15 NZ Police officers raided a gang house and killed six gang members in their sleep, three girlfriends, four toddlers and a visiting social worker – and the evidence came in part from Police officers there on the night….

    Would Farrar and the likes(of you fascist apologists) be reacting the same way?

    So if Nicky Hagar came out with compelling evidence that one dark night in 2011, 15 NZ SAS raided a house and killed six journalists in their sleep, three girlfriends, four toddlers and a visiting social worker – and the evidence came in part from soldiers there on the night….

    Would Farrar and the likes(of you fascist apologists) be reacting the same way?

    So if Nicky Hagar came out with compelling evidence that one dark night in 2011, 15 NZ Labour party members raided a house and killed six fascist apologists in their sleep, three of their police boyfriends, four toddlers and a visiting barrister – and the evidence came in part from GCSQ staff there on the night….

    Would Farrar and the likes(of you fascist apologists) be reacting the same way?

    Or is it just three year old Afghani girl insurgents who don’t count?

    Reply
    • artcroft

       /  22nd March 2017

      To give a toss I’d have to see what the “compelling evidence” Hager is alleged to have presented is first. Then there’d have to be allegations of murder or at least very serious neglect because I cut the SAS a lot of slack in these circumstances. After all it’s dark, people are firing at you and the situation changing fast but decision must still be made quickly. Not a job i want but I respect those who do do it.

      Reply
      • Anonymous Coward

         /  22nd March 2017

        Wayne Mapp confirms civilian dead in attack.
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11823449

        Reply
      • Jeeves

         /  23rd March 2017

        @ artcroft:
        I think the statement that ‘no civilians were killed” balanced by the Afghani coroners death certificate of a three year old girl makes for fairly compelling evidence that all is not well in camp, wouldn’t you? Or like the ‘Birthers’, do you need to actually feel blood splatter on your face before you are willing to concede that something may be amiss?

        “After all it’s dark, people are firing at you and the situation changing fast but decision must still be made quickly.”

        I assume you’ve seen actual compelling evidence that
        a) it was dark
        b) people were firing at them
        c) the situation was changing fast
        d) decisions still had to be made quickly

        or is it okay to pull ‘facts’ ( and so many, crammed into one little statement, lol) out your arse when you want to cut the good guys some slack?

        Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  22nd March 2017

      Was there any particular point to repeating your comment 3 times, just wondering…

      Reply
  12. Kevin

     /  22nd March 2017

    “So if Nicky Hagar came out with compelling evidence that one dark night in 2011, 15 NZ Police officers raided a gang house and killed six gang members in their sleep, three girlfriends, four toddlers and a visiting social worker – and the evidence came in part from Police officers there on the night….

    Would Farrar and the likes(of you fascist apologists) be reacting the same way?”

    But he hasn’t has he?

    “So if Nicky Hagar came out with compelling evidence that one dark night in 2011, 15 NZ SAS raided a house and killed six journalists in their sleep, three girlfriends, four toddlers and a visiting social worker – and the evidence came in part from soldiers there on the night….

    Would Farrar and the likes(of you fascist apologists) be reacting the same way?”

    But he hasn’t.

    Though journalists and the social worker, hmmmm. Don’t know if that would be so bad. The toddlers would be a shame of course.

    “So if Nicky Hagar came out with compelling evidence that one dark night in 2011, 15 NZ Labour party members raided a house and killed six fascist apologists in their sleep, three of their police boyfriends, four toddlers and a visiting barrister – and the evidence came in part from GCSQ staff there on the night….

    Would Farrar and the likes(of you fascist apologists) be reacting the same way?”

    But he hasn’t has he?

    Compelling evidence? Pfffft.

    Reply
  13. It is easy to cull out the wannabees from those who do the job. The ones who do the job have their rules and follow them. They have no need to talk to known media who have a long history of creating story lines out of nothing. We keep stum and know we do honourable things on behalf of the New Zealand people. How many of you know that 100 years ago today the NZ Mounted Rifles were fighting the first battle of Gaza together with the Aussies and the Brits, and by October 1917 they won the third battle of Gaza that allowed the Balfor Declaration to be issued and thus Israel could be formed. Instead, we have the efforts of Cabinet, the Defence Forces et al debating the rights and wrongs of a skirmish in Afghanistan that is the focus of mere conjecture and backed only by innuendo and a deliberate attempt to denigrate the ethical base of our Armed Forces. I would have loved to hear a discussion between Hager (said like lager) and Capt Upham, VC and Bar. What do you want to achieve Nicky?

    Reply
    • Jeeves

       /  23rd March 2017

      Thanks for that- bjm, but can you elaborate exactly how engaging in the ‘first battle of Gaza’ was ‘doing the honourable thing for the New Zealand people”?

      And apart from all your hyperbole about innuendo, denigration etc- civilians were killed, and our defence forces have repeatedly denied it. The co-author of the book successfully sued same defence forces for defamation, and they had to admit that they lied. The defamation concerned his whereabouts in Afghanistan while he was investigating this ‘skirmish’. Up until just the last 24 hours the NZDF denied the deaths.
      And now, Abracadabra!!!
      Minister admits to civilian death.

      Personally I don’t really care if a lone, angry SAS operative lost the plot and went rogue on a village, or any lesser degree of culpability or incompetence. These things do happen.
      What I care about is that the leadership don’t deny they happen, and cover them up. Because that is corrupt.

      And similarly- I understand that occasionally the wrong man gets convicted and imprisoned by corrupt or zealous cops. Again, shit happens. The real miscarriage though occurs in twenty years following when ever higher authorities band together to keep the truth hidden simply to save themselves the embarrassment of acknowledging someone else’s past cock-up.

      “We keep stum and know we do honourable things on behalf of the New Zealand people.”

      That’s awesome bjm, thanks a lot. The concern is that some keep stum about the dishonourable things too. Surely an objective expert like yourself can see this?

      Reply
  14. Conspiratoor

     /  22nd March 2017

    Was prompted to look up rachel stewart, the herald columnist, because I thought he/she may be masquerading as brother corks. However I was quickly disavowed of that notion by hiser headline tweet. Seems hiser is a big fan of The Donald

    Reply
  15. Disgusting!

    Reply

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